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Old Oct 25, 2009, 07:50 PM   #1
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Will there ever be a jump in features again comparable to [iBook G4] -> [Macbook]

Here are the major improvements and added features that happened all at once with the release of the Macbook compared to its predecessor, the iBook G4.
  • better form factor including a slightly bigger display
  • Magnetic Latching System with no moving parts
  • redesigned recessed keyboard
  • integrated iSight
  • MagSafe power adapter
  • HUGE jump in processing power / twice the amount of CPU cores
  • DVI-port added and finally allowed to use clamshell mode
  • bundled remote control / IR sensor / Front Row
  • optical audio in/out
  • Gigabit Ethernet
So I guess that release will have to stand as an exception due to the switch to Intel processors, but I clearly remember how amazed I was about the sudden advent of all these new features for the iBook/Macbook line (although of course many of these had been pioneered on the formerly introduced Macbook Pro).

Somehow I feel like the jump from my current first-generation Macbook to the newly introduced Macbook would feel like less of a change than the jump I made from the iBook G4 to the first Macbook. The rate of innovation seems to have slowed down nowadays. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I remember how I was basically always clamoring for performance improvements in PowerPC times, while nowadays I seem to mostly get along just fine with the baseline Core Duo performance.

While a lot of new features have appeared over time, their impact on real-life usage seems less drastic to me. For example, the longer battery life and unibody case that hopefully won't crack is really appreciated if expected, while I see the LED backlight, new trackpad or faster wireless merely as nice-to-have additions.

Of course, I won't even mention the fact that by upgrading from the original Macbook to the current one, you would lose Firewire, would lose the IR port, would lose the battery strength indicator, would lose an audio port, would lose the ability to replace batteries yourself and would lose super simple access to HD and RAM.

Don't get me wrong. I really like the new Macbook in and of itself, but the offered upgrade path from an original Macbook to the current Macbook is only moderately enticing. Maybe that's part of Apple's plan to convert people to the MBP line. Fine.
Ironically, one of my major motivations to upgrade is not to get new features but to finally say goodbye to the flawed case-design of the crack-book .

I'm not looking for buying advice, but am simply throwing my original question out there. Will there ever be a upgrade within one model line again that is so convincing you will just have to get it ? When? Why?
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